Have you already decided which candidate you will be voting for tomorrow in the Virginia Republican Primary? I am fairly sure that if you have not made up your mind yet, you probably don’t plan to vote.
Of course this is a Primary and the winner gets the right to represent the Republican Party in the November election against the Democratic nominee.
Virginia Right! has primarily focused on the Senate race because there has been a lot more to cover than the 7th District House race. But with the voting set for tomorrow, I thought I would give my take – bluntly as always – of the races.
What I am looking for first and foremost as far as a winner in tomorrow’s race is which candidate has the best chance of preventing a Democrat from winning the seat.
The Va US Senate Race
This one features the 800 pound gorilla in the race on the Democrats side of the fence, Tim Kaine. Of course Kaine was able to muscle out the other would-be contenders on the left Chicago Style and did not have to face a brutal primary like the Republicans have been “enjoying”.
Kaine is not going to be an easy candidate to send home. Polls show a close race between Kaine and Republican front-runner George Allen with the rest of the Republican field far behind in a one on one match-up.
Kaine has a considerable war chest and was able to avoid the expense of a costly primary. He has raised $8,657,262 and spent $6,142,474 and has no debt leaving him with $2,514,786 left to start the campaign once the primary is over. (As of May 23, 2011.)
These numbers put Kaine in the heavyweight category as a fundraiser and as a serious contender.
Of the field in the Republican Primary, only George Allen is in the same league as far as funds. As of May 23, 2011, Allen had raised $6,888,769 – a couple of million less than Kaine and has spent $4,161,694 and no debt leaving him with a $2,754,352 balance, a bit more than Kaine.
So, as far as money goes, Kaine and Allen are both heavyweights with a lot of money at the ready to start the war.
The rest of the Republican field is not in the same universe as far as money goes.
Bob Marshall has the second largest “war chest” having raised $64,123 and spent $35,741 has $$28,382 on hand and a debt of $29,152 leaving him with a negative balance of $770 to oppose Kaine’s $2.5 Million.
E.W. Jackson is third having raised $123,642, spent $118,878 has $4,763 cash on hand and $7,922 in debt for a negative total of $3,159.
Jamie Radtke has raised $671,522 and spent $721,699 has $49,150 cash on hand and $34,850 in debt. I’m not sure how this math works out because my calculator has this as a net of negative $35,877 balance. Something is not adding up here, but this is what the Federal Election Commission shows as of May 23, 2012.
There is no way a candidate with a negative balance coming out of a primary can overcome a $2.5 Million head start by Tim Kaine.
Supporters of candidates other than Allen cite problems with some of Allen’s votes as a senator 6 years ago. But the only candidate with the money to challenge Tim Kaine is Allen. All of the challengers have run up campaign debt ironically calling out Allen for voting for increases in the debt as a Senator.
Any outcome in this primary other than an Allen win hands this seat to Tim Kaine. And as much as supporters of Allen’s opponents bemoan the US debt, there is no doubt that a Senator Kaine will be the worst possible outcome as far as getting rid of this debt.
The bottom line is, either George Allen win the primary or Tim Kaine is the next Senator. No other candidate stands a chance.
The 7th Congressional District Race
The Democrats don’t really have a candidate in this race. There is a guy named Wayne Powell running, but it is safe to assume that Wayne is not going to look for a place to live in Washington and has not given any thought to office space in the nations capitol. The Democratic Party has not bothered to pay attention to this race, and are mailing it in. Powell has raised $65,936 and spent $27,782 and has $37,993 cash on hand (and no debt) to fight the Republican Primary winner.
Eric Cantor has raised $5,760,921 and spent $4,586,974 has no debt and $2,099,394 cash on hand to use for November.
Floyd Bayne is challenging Cantor and has raised $6,063 and spent $4,329 and has no debt and $218 in his till.
There is no question on who will win this race. Eric Cantor will easily win the primary and the general election. It is nearly impossible to defeat an incumbent and even harder to defeat a Majority Leader.
While it is crass and not welcome news to ideologues who believe anyone can win, money talks. In the Senate race, George Allen and Tim Kaine will face off in November in a very important race that will determine the majority in the Senate. Only Allen has a chance against Kaine. Many people want to believe that grassroots can prevail over money, but the reality is, it takes both. And money is grassroots. The deeper the roots, the greater the funding.
At the end of the day tomorrow, Virginia’s best shot at fixing Washington will be on the shoulders of George Allen and Eric Cantor and it will be a time for all of the Virginia Republicans to unite behind them.
Push them and make them better, for sure. Make sure they both hear you.
But let’s play the hand we are dealt and fix this country.